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How Long Do Water Heaters Last?

Fixing a water heater

Water Heater Lifespan

A typical water heater can last anywhere between 5 and 13 years. Once it hits the 10-year mark, it is running on borrowed time. The good news is that you can make it last longer by keeping up with maintenance. A water heater should be checked annually and undergo maintenance every couple of years to run optimally.

Top Signs Your Water Heater Needs To Be Replaced

When your water heater is acting up, you will know. Some signs are evident. You will get cold rather than hot water from the hot water tap, and may see puddles near the water heater.

(Don’t waste money by replacing the unit immediately. Consider the type, size and model you want before ordering anything).

Here are some of the other top signs that your water heater should be replaced:

The Water is a Strange Color

If the water looks a bit tinted, chances are the water heater tank has rusted from the inside. This is a common sign of an old unit. It may even be leaking water.

Gurgling or Popping Sounds

When hard water sediment heats up in the tank, it makes a lot of noise. This is a sure sign that your unit has seen better days and needs to be replaced.

Your Water Heater is Old.

If your water heater has hit the 10-year mark, it will start to show signs of wear and tear. A common symptom is dampness or puddles around the base. It may be the result of a slow leak.

Lack of Hot Water

A water heater that doesn’t heat water is a water tank. Unless you like taking cold showers in the morning, even in chilly weather, get your system checked out as soon as possible. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to replace the system or get it fixed.

Why Some Water Heaters Last Longer Than Others

Water heaters that are maintained regularly last longer than those that are not. Here are some of the things that responsible homeowners do to save money on their system:

Regular Maintenance Flush

With time, your water heater will accumulate sediment. This will happen fast if you get hard water in your pipes. If those particles are allowed to sit at the bottom of the tank, they will eventually form thick layers. This, in turn, will force your system to work harder than it should. The sediment will also damage your tank over time, leading to leaks.

A hot water maintenance flush once a year can flush out all sediment. All of the water needs to be drained from the tank in this case. Your plumber will first shut off the fuel source of the water heater (electricity or gas) and will attach a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank.

The sediment will drain out from the tank through the hose. Don’t worry. A professional will always empty the fuel into a bucket or into a floor drain. The sediment will accumulate in a colander, so it doesn’t clog up the plumbing.

Next, they will turn off the cold water supply to the tank and run one of the hot water taps in your home. The tank will empty when the drain valve is opened. The water that comes out will be a bit thick and discolored, but that’s just the sediment. It will clear up as the deposit leaves the tank. You can ensure your system doesn’t clog up by turning on the cold water in short spurts. It will blast the gunk right out.

Once all of the hot water has been drained out of the tank, the plumber will close the drain valve, fill the tank partially with cold water and drain it again. The process will be repeated until the water becomes clear, i.e. without any sediment. The plumber will close the drain valve, remove the hose, and turn on the cold water supply. Once the water tank is full, the plumber will turn on the fuel supply, and hot water will come out of the hot water faucets.

Give It Space

You can also save money and stress by ensuring your water heater has sufficient space around it. So if you get it replaced, make sure the new one is not crowded. The room will give plumbers the space necessary to do routine maintenance, and the tank will not heat up to the point that it ignites.

Once the water heater is installed in the ideal spot, do not keep any cleaning tools and supplies around it. These can catch fire easily if the tank heats up.

Install Insulation

If you install insulation around the pipes and the heater, you can ensure your system lasts for years. Make sure you get insulation that is the same size as your pipe and just as thick. As a general rule of thumb, most plumbers recommend self-sticking foam insulation at least 3/8 of an inch wide.

 The foam should cover both the hot and cold water pipes as much as possible. It will prevent the pipes from sweating or forming condensation that can leech warmth. If the pipes are close to the flue, make sure the insulation is just an inch thick and made of fibreglass.

Contact King Heating for Water Heater Repairs

Whether you need a new water heater installed, need a drain unclogged, or have leaks fixed, the experienced plumbers at King Heating can handle it all. We are also available for emergency services whenever needed. Plus, we do not charge extra to work on weekends and holidays. Just give us a call, and we will send a plumber to your place.

Contact us for a free quote on the plumbing job you require and to schedule a complimentary plumbing inspection.